Mindsets are assumptions and expectations about ourselves and others that guide our decisions, practices, and interactions. The view that you adopt of yourself and others strongly affects the way you conduct yourself in professional settings and how you interact with or lead your teams. For example, a mindset that favors dedication, grit, and hard work matters as much as innate brains and talent.

In this webinar we looked at:

  • the impact of the labels we put on our own and other people’s words and actions.
  • the relationship between mindset, resilience, stress management, and success.
  • strategies for making shifts in thinking that can positively impact life and work.

Carolien Moors, MPsych and MEd, has applied psychology and business insight to challenges faced by leaders and teams as an organizational consultant, speaker, and coach, focusing on candor, accountability, and change for more than 30 years.

Presented on May 20, 2021.

Webinar Takeaways


You will greatly benefit professionally and personally if you make it a habit to think about your thinking and to fine-tune your internal monologue by critically considering the nature and the quality of your assumptions, beliefs, and thoughts.

Recognizing Unhelpful, Irrational, Dysfunctional Thoughts

  • Take a step back and observe your thoughts, otherwise known as self-distancing.
  • Consider: which are my thoughts about the situation, myself, and this person?
  • Where is the proof for my assumptions and thoughts, and how do I know I am right? 
  • Is it possible that I am missing, over-emphasizing, or neglecting something?
  • Is this thought adding insights or helping me clarify the situation or my coping plan?
  • Is this thought capable of increasing my preparedness or feeding into my strengths?
  • Observe your thoughts with curiosity, compassion, and critical evaluation to move on wiser.

Dis-Empowering Your Unhelpful, Irrational, Dysfunctional Thoughts

  • Acknowledge the inaccuracy in your thoughts without self-condemnation.
  • Determine, with a learning–mindset, which thoughts are “worth” worrying about.
  • Know that negative thoughts only stick if you believe they are worth engaging with. 
  • Talk to your thought: Hello Mrs. Worry, Good morning Mr. Nervous, Hi Miss Guilt.
  • Remember that merely having a thought, does not automatically make it true. 
  • If the thought persists, repeat the thought in a silly voice or with great exaggeration. 
  • Your thoughts do not define you and your thoughts only have power if you give it to them. 

Ways to Reframe Thoughts and Feelings of Fear, Frustration, Stress, Shame, Guilt, Despair

Reframe "I will never be able to handle this" into "I have the tools to get through this."
Reframe "Why does this always happen to me" into "It’s a natural stress response that I can influence."
Reframe "This is an awful situation" into "I feel scared, that’s okay, I know 3 things I can to calm down."
Reframe "What’s wrong with me?" into "Anxiety naturally feels unpleasant for me and others. I’m learning to move and breathe through it."

Work to avoid all-or-nothing words like always, never, everything, everyone, no-one, cannot etc. and test and reframe damaging beliefs such as: 

  • Candor is disrespectful.        
  • Kindness makes you a doormat.
  • Being brave means not being afraid. 
  • Mental health is freedom from undesirable emotions.
  • Being a competent professional means not making mistakes. 

Four Activities to Reinforce a Learning and Growth Mindset

  1. Steer out of your comfort zone, stretch yourself, start something new, stick with it.
  2. Schedule daily or weekly reflection and keep a 21-day journal. 
  3. While you seek out learning opportunities, stay on course and stay patient. 
  4. Cultivate your grit, use positive language, and seek constructive feedback. With this you can turn your hunger for approval into a passion for learning and growth. 

Three Final Reminders about your Feelings

  1. Having a feeling is different from acting on that feeling. 
  2. You have a right to all your feelings, the desirable and not so desirable ones. 
  3. Feelings aren’t inherently bad unless you give them undue attention and power.